Sonic cartography composed when I was living in the Spanish Pyrenees and encountered a series of defensive bunkers ordered by the dictator Franco and built by prisoners of war between 1944 and 1948. This is a region that I´ve hiked for years and I know well,  10 km from the border with France, so it was especially shocking to realize these structures had been buried there since their construction and were virtually forgotten, until they were recently excavated by organizations committed to confronting 20th century Spanish history. There is a deeply ingrained habit in Spain, where I come from, to avoid confronting or even speaking about our recent past of the civil war and the post-war dictatorship. This habit is rooted in the foundations of our democracy, when our official transition out of dictatorship and into the modern era was predicated on, among other things, a literal ´Pact of Forgetting,´ the “pacto del olvido”, in which it was officially agreed, in the interest of progress, that no agent of the dictatorship could be prosecuted for their crimes. To me, the massive network of the dictatorship´s buried and forgotten fortifications embodied the tendency in Spanish society to bury our dark histories in the interest of collectively moving forward, despite how denial of the past has continued to prevent our collective healing. Most Spaniards I know from my generation and I have experienced this resistance to the past within our own families, so I found myself drawn to enter and sound in these resonant spaces as my own way of entering and connecting to that guarded past. The claustrophobic quality of these subterranean bunkers clashes with what one sees just outside the concrete walls: beautiful mountain landscapes with roaming clouds of sheep, wild horses, and hikers, most oblivious to the history just beneath the surface. This was a tension I wanted to capture in the piece as well.


Published in Full Spectrum Records as a Split cassette with Derek Baron

released January 27, 2023

Music by Merche Blasco with the voices of Michael Sugarman, Bora Yoon, and Gryphon Rue, 2022
Mixed by Nick Zanca

The Matrix
Music by Derek Baron, 2022

Mastered by Andrew Weathers
Artwork by Gretchen Korsmo using photographs by Merche Blasco